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Dr. Lonnie Smith (not to be confused with Lonnie Liston Smith) was born in Lackawanna, New York, (just outside of Buffalo).
His affinity for R&B melded with his own personal style, and he quickly became a local legend. He moved to New York City, where he met George Benson, the guitarist for Jack McDuff's band. Benson and Smith connected on a personal level, and the two formed the George Benson Quartet featuring Lonnie Smith in 1966. After two albums (It's Uptown and Cookbook), Smith recorded his first solo album (Finger Lickin' Good) in 1967, with George Benson on guitar, Ronnie Cuber on bass, Melvin Sparks and Marion Booker on drums. This combination remained stable for the next five years. In 1967, Smith met Lou Donaldson, w...